As we get older, the more we tend to worry about our health. But undergoing routine health checks can drastically improve the outcome of some age related diseases. Early diagnosis helps save lives as it provides treatment options at the earliest possible stage and often before the disease starts to spread. Methods of screening tests include cancer screenings that search for cancerous cells or tissues within the body. These screenings increase the chance of successful treatment as it helps detect cancer early when it is most likely curable. Studies show that early diagnosis could save between 5,000 and 10,000 lives per year.
It is not just cancer screenings that are important to our health. There are many other health screenings that are just as important such as cholesterol, blood pressure and routine health checks.
Prevention is always better than a cure. Here are 8 tests that could literally save your life.
Bowel / Colon Cancer Screening– Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK. More than 90% of bowel cancers can be successfully treated if detected early.
Breast Screenings– More than 90% of women diagnosed with breast cancer at the earliest stage survive their disease for at least 5 years compared to around the 15% for women diagnosed at the most advanced stage.
Cervical Screening-Cervical screening is a method of preventing cancer by detecting abnormalities and precancerous cells in the cervix. If left untreated, these abnormalities could lead to cervical cancer.
Skin Checks– Keeping an eye on moles is essential for spotting the early signs of skin cancer. Most moles are harmless, but sometimes they can develop into a rare form of skin cancer called malignant melanoma. If you notice any changes in your moles, it is important to see a specialist.
AAA screening– The aorta is the main blood vessel in the body. It pumps blood from the heart around the body. If a swelling in the aorta is left to get bigger it could burst, causing life threatening bleeds inside the stomach. An abdominal aortic aneurysm won’t have often have symptoms so the test can pick up an AAA before it bursts.
Cholesterol Checks– High levels of cholesterol can build up in the arteries, which increase your risk of heart attack, cardiovascular diseases or stroke so it is incredibly important to have your cholesterol levels checked.
Prostate Check– Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in men. If there are any causes for concern such as an increased need to urinate, straining or not feeling emptied after urinating. Men can be offered a PSA blood test that measures the level of PSA and may help detect early prostate cancer.
Blood Pressure Check– High blood pressure can put you at risk for multiple conditions such as heart failure, stroke, heart attack, kidney disease and may also be responsible for some types of dementia. This is a common test that is incredibly important and could even save your life.
You can usually expect to receive a letter from your GP or local authority inviting you foran NHS Health Check or Screening. But for more information, contact your GP with any questions or concerns.